Monday, June 13, 2011

Zombie Night--Live Blogging the Republican Debate

This is a revised version of my live-blog of the GOP New Hampshire debate on CNN tonight. The cast of contenders includes The Leader (Mitt Romney), the Zealot (Ron Paul), the Clown (Herman Cain), and the Woman from the Religious Right (Michele Bachmann). Those are the candidates who count the most. Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum are running as the Professor and Marianne candidates and the whole event is being haunted by the ghost of Newt Gingrich.

Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Donald Trump aren't here. That means there are votes to be had. Huckabee's out and the whole campaign establishment thinks that Palin's out as well. That means that religious right and Tea Party votes are up in the air. Bachmann in particular is interviewing for the position of "substitute Palin." There's a clown constituency out there as well. Donald Trump was once at 26% in the polls as the "clown candidate" who was willing to say anything about President Obama. Who's going to emerge as the clown candidate. Right now, it looks like Herman Cain has the best shot, but Pawenty is coming up with a lot of goofy proposals. Maybe he sees his path from 5% to contender status as paved with the most outlandish proposals he can make.

7:55 Wolf Blitzer blah blahed about Mitt Romney as the presumed leader, but Romney’s grip on the top position is extremely tenuous. Gallup polls have him up 2-4% over Sarah Palin, but Romney's connection with health reform, flip flops on abortion and gay rights, and general lack of authenticity make him extremely vulnerable to attack ads. He's very vulnerable.

8:01—Introductions—Cliché time. Rick Santorum mentions Pennsylvania which is very interesting because Santorum lost his last race in Pennsylvania by 19. Michele Bachmann raised 23 foster children, Newt comes out with a new cliché—“the Obama Depression,”—Mitt Romney says something that's very forgettable—Ron Paul wants to take the country back to the 1780’s—Tim Pawlenty suprises everyone by saying “I love America" and it’s all about the grandkids for Herman Cain.

The big surprise is that Michele Bachmann is practically tiny compared to the guys. Oh yeah, Bachmann also announced that she had filed papers for her candidacy and would make an official announcement tomorrow.

8:05—John King is moderating—still an idiot after all these years (for some reason, my computer stuck on all caps at this point). 8:06—How would the Republicans create jobs—Big surprise there! Herman Cain advocates Tax Cuts for the Wealthy.

8:06—Tim Pawlenty advocates tax cuts plus deregulation, says that his assumption of a 5% annual growth rate is a tribute to American exceptionalism and that anything else is "Declinism." "Declinism," another bad word for "reality."

8:09—Mitt Romney makes a nod to reality by actually citing some statistics—is still all for Tax cuts for the wealthy 8:10—Onto the Ghost of Newt Gingrich—Says something memorable

8:11—Michele Bachmann announces her Presidential candidacy, dodges “Dodds-Frank.”

8:12—Ron Paul can’t think of anything that Obama’s done right. Of course, he can’t think of anything that the U. S. Government has done right since the creation of the fed in 1913. I’m surprised he didn’t go back to George Washington. maybe he will later.

8:13—Sylvia Smith is concerned with “defunding” and” repealing” Obamacare. Wonder which candidate is most eager to overturn health reform.

8:14—In another big surprise, it turns out that all of the candidates want to overturn health reform. As a result, Michele Bachmann gets out her first and second deceptive statistics of the evening, that Health reform harmed medicare and cost jobs.

8:15—Mitt Romney now answering on analogies between RomneyCare and ObamaCare—about ready to get hammered by his esteemed colleagues.

8:16—Tim Pawlenty gets out his hammer—takes a v-e-r-y long time wielding it—totally ineffective—Mitt Romney’s going to be very vulnerable to attacks on Romney’s health care scheme—Pawlenty fails to strike and confirms his reputation as a wimp.

8:18—Onto Gingrich’s flip-flopping on individual mandate—Why nothing from “Clown Candidate” Herman Cain—Newt wants more republicans in the Senate, but forgets that he's the last guy who would ever have coattails. I guess it doesn't matter though because Newt never had a chance of being nominated. He'd poll 8-10% if he still had his whole campaign staff, and he's going to poll 8-10% without them as well.

8:20—Question from “mainstream Republican” whatever that is anymore—Rick Santorum gets a chance to talk—mentions welfare reform from 1996—sees himself as mobilizing bi-partisan support. The questioner sounded like he was thinking of voting for Obama--not a good sign for Republican candidates or the republican party. 8:22—Michele Bachman goes all gauzy about the tea Party—“take the country back” is not such a gauzy slogan though—she loves it. But the questioner still looks like he'll end up voting for Obama

8:23—Can Herman Cain build bridges from the tea party to the rest of the country? Well, he’s going to hire good advisers who can develop “common sense solutions.” Yawn. America wants red meat from Herman cain and it's getting tuna salad. If Herman Cain wants to win the Republican nomination for President, he'll have to get all the Donald Trump vote and will have to say a lot of outlandish things to get that vote. So far, Cain hasn't been mildly interesting, let alone outlandish.

8:25—Questioner wants to know how Republicans will return manufacturing jobs to the U. S.—Ron Paul wants to bring money back to the U. S. rather than jobs—makes almost no sense unless you’re a Milton Friedman freak. 8:26—Pawlenty mentions that he was the only republican who grew up in his meat-packing town—also avoids question. 8:27—Michele Bachmann doesn’t believe in job-training—wants to reduce corporate tax rates for companies that are already not paying taxes—wants to get rid of the ePA—Also dodging question

8:28—Santorum mentions that he’s from Pennsylvania yet again but declines to discuss how hated he was by the Pennsylvania electorate.

8:29-0Question about Right-to-Work legislation—Tim Pawlenty’s all for that. Even though he was in a union, he appears to hate unions

8:30—Give John King some props—he’s pretty quick on his feet—about as much depth as Triplett Creek in Morehead though 8:31—One wonders why any union worker would vote republican!

8:32—Personal Side of Candidates—Rick Santorum chooses leno over Conan O’brien

8:33—A Short break from the lameness—Mitt Romney sounds the most coherent—Daughter No. 1 thinks Michele Bachman would be the easiest to beat—She thinks Romney would be pretty easy to beat as well though. And Romney would be easy to beat unless there's a depression. Conservatives would pretty much stay at home.

8:36—Commercials for an exercise program that looks like it causes cancer

8:36—Michele Bachmann can’t choose between Elvis and Johnny Cash—Christmas with Elvis?

8:37—Question about Government subsidies—Ron Paul says that there shouldn’t be any—

8:38—Question to Herman Cain about Tarp—Cain liked the idea of Tarp but totally disagreed with implementation

8:40—Tom Fahey speaks—The questions are pretty hostile in general—Fehey hints that the auto bailout was successful—Mitt Romney disagreed because Obama “gave the company to the UAW”—I don’t think this is working and John King uses Romney’s own words against him.

8:41—I’m beginning to wonder how close the Republicans are going to come to saying they would have allowed a depression.

8:42—I’m beginning to think that Republicans are much more impressive as pundits on Fox than they are in presidential debates.

8:43—Newt Responds to a question on NASA by Fantasizing about Space.

8:44—Tim Pawlenty defends the space program—Why not Get rid of it though?

8:45—What would administration do to right the housing ship? Tim Pawlenty gives a long-winded version of “Nothing” or “getting the private sector moving again”

8:46—Ron Paul gives the zealot answer—“let’s do much less sooner”—Paul likes “corrections” but does not quite advocate “depression”

8:48—Herman Cain makes a major confession—“The federal government should be doing food inspections.”

8:49—Now it’s Disaster spending—Mitt Romney wants to send disaster relief back to the states—Wants to talk more about federal deficits than disaster relief.

8:50—Newt Gingrich reveals his deepest feelings—he likes American idol more than dancing with the stars

8:51—Another break—pretty weak stuff altogether—no wonder I didn’t watch The Republican debates during the 2008 cycle. Commercials—It looks like Cadillacs are good at dodging arrows. Who knew?

8:52—Onto Medicare—Dr. Paul Collins asks a tough question about medicare—Ron Paul responds that he would cut a lot of money from medicare—need to cut defense spending, wars, and corporate welfare—wants to opt out.

8:55—Tim Pawlenty wants to make medicare an option—fully justifies his 4% rating in the polls.

8:57—Newt deals with Medicare and the Ryan proposal—prefers the totally unknown “Tom Price” to Ryan—Goes deep and announces that he doesn’t want to pay crooks.

8:58—Santorum and Herman Cain are all for jumping off the medicare cliff.

9:00—onto Social Security—another fairly hostile question—Cain wants a personal retirement account like chile, doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in bringing back pinochet though.

9:01—Questions are actually substantive and technical—onto the debt ceiling. Mitt Romney wants Obama to exercise more leadership in doing what republicans want—doesn’t address debt ceiling.

9:03—Bachmann uses B. Obama’s words against him—Doesn’t mind default

9:05—John King wants twitter level answers—almost gets them.

9:06—Pawlenty isn’t particularly interested in the separation of church and state. Rick Santorum doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state at all—Ron Paul is a little more skeptical—Let’s see how much Herman Cain really hates Muslims—Cain emphasizes that he wouldn’t be comfortable with members of al-qaeda in his administration—big surprise there!—

9:09—John King nails Herman Cain on litmus tests for muslims in government—Newt is Really vociferous about Not hiring members of al-qaeda in his administration—

9:12—Hermain cain likes deep dish pizza—Both Dad and Daughter wish Sarah Palin were participating—But I think it’s a good idea for palin to avoid events where everybody is driving down their poll numbers—Sometimes I think that Republican presidential candidates are trying to make sure that no one votes for them.

9:15—Only 45 minutes to go.

9:17—When’s John King going to ask whether candidates like Lebron James or Dirk Nowitzki? How many would say Nowitzki?

9:17—Gay Marriage question for Michele Bachmann—Is she going to advocate a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage? Doesn’t look like it--Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, want a constitutional amendment—Bachmann as well.

9:19—back to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell—Herman Cain doesn’t want to go back, Tim Pawlenty punts to military, Ron Paul won’t go back, Romney punts, Gingrich will go back, Bachmann wants to go back, Santorum wants to go back to the Stone Age— The biggest disappointment is Michele bachmann—she isn’t doing anything to distinguish herself or earn anything more than her current 7%--Definitely not an alternative to Sarah Palin

9:24—Question about rape and incest exceptions to a pro-life position—Bachmann makes a case from the Founding fathers but abortion was very popular during the early years of the republic
9:26—Immigration up next—Question is from the far, far right—focusing on Government services to illegal immigrants—immigration is just like recreational drugs. It should be completely legalized.

9:29—Ron Paul is very confusing about immigration—Sounds like the main solution to illegal immigration is a slow economy

9:30—Herman Cain wants to end birthright citizenship—secure borders—enforce laws—which pretty much means create a police state—

9:31—Tim Pawlenty sent Minnesota national guard to mexican border

9:32—20 million illegal immigrants—What would Newt Gingrich do about it? Newt pontificates in response—transplant Homeland security Department to Border

9:34—Eminent Domain? Ron Paul wants to go back to the 1780’s, pretty much his answer to everything. If I was a Republican candidate, I wouldn’t be too happy with these questions. The Questioners are examining the contradictions of Republican positions rather than giving them an opportunity to slam Obama.

9:37—Rick Santorum wants to end Ethanol subsidies—Ethanol is a special problem for me
because it’s basically corn-based gas. Given my corn allergies, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life breathing in corn fumes. There’s that Cadillac dodging arrows again. A stunning commercial claim--Cadillac makes “Cadillacs”

9:39—Aviva is buildijng insurance “around you”

9:40—Mike Huckabee is on TV campaigning against health care reform.

9:41—Foreign Policy—Question about withdrawing from Afghanistan—Romney punts to the military—almost makes a big gaffe about handing off to the Taliban—Ron Paul wants to withdraw without consulting the military, withdraw from Iraq as well—Tim Pawlenty starts with tribute to military, then goes into a long-winded justification for bombing yemen—

9:45—Fifteen minutes to go, 9:45—Is the U. S. justified in its involvement in Libya—Michele Bachmann gets tied up in her own cliches—Doesn’t want us to be involved, but wants us to lead anyway—kind of confusing.

9:47—Newt wants us to think “Fundamentally” about withdrawing from Afghanistan but doesn’t mention Afghanistan—Herman Cain wants the U. S. to avoid complex situations

9:48—Question about withdrawing from Role of Global leadership—Rick Santorum pontificates about terrorism and wants basing around the world— The main result of this debate is that Republican voters will be choosing between Romney and Palin if Palin runs. If Palin doesn’t run, it will be Romney vs the field.

9:54—Question about lack of enthusiasm for Republican candidates—

9:56—Tim Pawlenty gets a question about Sarah Palin—gets though it without embarrassing himself—looks sick though—Romney tries to sell the field as better than Obama

9:57—Ron Paul wants to know what the other candidates think about his fetish about the Federal reserve

9:58—Ending tributes to New Hampshire--

Closing Remarks—There wasn’t much here. I think Sarah Palin was the big winner tonight. none of the Participants did anything to stand out as an opponent to Obama. I guess you could say that Mitt Romney did well because he didn’t’ do anything to lose his big lead over this group. but it wasn’t like he really helped himself either. Certainly, none of the candidates at the bottom of the polling did anything to help themselves. Tim Pawlenty gets the most press, but didn’t do anything to justify that press. Rick Santorum ducked on the question of abortion. David Gergen says that it was a good night for Michele Bachmann but I can’t see why. Most of what Bachmann showed was that she didn't have anything like the charisma of Palin. More toward the middle of the GOP pack, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul didn’t do much to help themselves while Herman Cain didn’t show any of the pizzazz needed to be a serious contender.

All in all, the GOP candidates came off as a relatively large collection of Zombies. Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Chris Christie were probably licking their chops in anticipation of running against this group.


Online Home Inspector said...

I don’t see it happening however that evolution has to start somewhere. I only just opened my eyes to it and I see it as a worthy cause to at least bring out so people can look into it. It’s all about education. There will be a financial collapse coming but when I do not know but turmoil will be around and follow will be needed. What Ron stands for as you state, is at least a start to what is now. Military Industrial Complex needs to come down for the entire world.

Great Golf Strategies said...

This wasn't debate, it was a gathering of republican’s/tea baggers that all want the same thing, that is for President Obama to not be re-elected. No plan to help Americans, just more tax breaks for corporations. They're all afraid to step on each others toes and not willing to be honest about anything. Typical republicans/tea baggers.